Excerpted from “Senate leaders agree on filibuster changes” By Paul Kane, Washington Post Staff Writer, The Washington Post, Thursday, January 27, 2011; 9:08 PM
Senate leaders announced a bipartisan deal Thursday to speed up the chamber's work by limiting the use of the filibuster and dropping the confirmation process for about 400 federal agency nominees.

The broad agreement is the most significant change in the chamber's rules in 35 years. …
It's about time for this modest improvement in the rules but I fear that the U.S. Senate will remain the institutional ball and chain attached to the American nation, dragging us down, preventing us from decisively addressing the urgent issues of our time.